Local Government Planning Report shows swing to Complying Development

The recently released Local Government Performance Monitoring Report for the last financial year indicates a growing swing to complying development, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The 2013/ 2014 report of local government performance on development approvals and planning issues shows complying development is now 29% of all determinations,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “This demonstrates that consumers of the planning system are increasingly working within the rules set for complying development which is leading to shorter approval times.”

“The average gross Development Approval (DA) processing time grew slightly from the previous year to 70 days while the average processing time for council assessed complying developments was 18 days.”

“A more detailed analysis of the data for each council however indicates that the majority of complying developments were actually assessed by private certifiers.”

“The processing time for larger projects above $20 million is still around 230 working days which is almost a year. The regional panels are also taking this long on average and reforms that shorten these times would help the development industry keep costs down.”

“While acknowledging the value of having data on the performance of councils on planning matters the Urban Taskforce believes some data is confusing when related to other measures of performance. The Government’s Metropolitan Development Program for instance measures the actual number of individual apartment units (dwellings) produced while the local government performance report only measures the development applications for the overall apartment development. The report indicates that there were 1,187 apartment determinations over the year compared to 13,687 single new dwellings yet clearly far more dwellings as apartment units are being approved than houses.”

“In a similar manner multi-unit approvals by value at $3,804 million appear to be less than single new dwellings at $6,054 million until the category of Mixed Development at $4,742 million is taken into account.”

“The rise in the number of approved Complying Development Certificates to 24,770 is underpinned by the fact that over 80% of these are by Private Certifiers. The new online format for presenting the data from councils is an excellent way to enable industry to assess performance.”

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